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World Cafe Remembers Levon Helm

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Levon Helm, an Americana legend and drummer for the '60s rock group The Band, died this week. Here, we remember Helm with an archived interview and performance from WXPN.

Levon Helm started his music career by picking up the guitar at age 8, then switched to drums soon after. Though best known as the famous drummer for the rock group The Band, Helm continued to influence music with his collaborations and solo works.

The Band's 1968 debut, Music From Big Pink, mixed country, rock, folk, classical and Americana, and proved to be a classic — as would The Band's 1976 farewell performance, captured in the album and film The Last Waltz. The Band was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame for its influence on the rock music of the '60s, '70s and beyond.

Helm launched a solo career apart from The Band, releasing several albums. In the late '90s, he turned to blues with a new group, Levon Helm & The Barn Burners. In 2007, he released his first solo record in 25 years, the Grammy-winning Dirt Farmer.

This segment originally aired on January 18, 2008.

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